WELLNESS--I’ll be the first to admit that there have been many times in my life when I have struggled with feeling thankful. I have spent much of my time living in the future wanting, striving, and desiring more. Wishing for more success, more creativity, more balance, more growth has taken me away from the present moment.
We live in a society that has taught us to push forward and strive for those things that we desire. For the most part, I think this is a great concept. After all, we do live in a physical world with lots of wonderful opportunities and things to accomplish. It’s quite natural to want a loving relationship, the newest iPhone, or whatever it is that we are drawn to. The key is to find balance.
What has become blatantly clear to me is that unless we find gratitude in our day-to-day experiences, we are actually blocking more good from coming in. To be thankful for what we already have is an act of living in the present moment, which literally showers us with positivity and optimism.
Being still in the here and now is really the only place that we can be. Our minds may wander to a past experience or future dream but all we truly have is this moment. And for the most part, what we have is pretty darn good. Even if some are struggling with an illness or financial crisis, there are blessings to be found in those challenges should we choose to see them. Embracing gratitude shifts our energetic field and can actually speed up our healing and create miracles in our life. Being thankful for ALL THAT IS even when things don’t look the way we’d like is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life.
If you’re like me and often find yourself daydreaming about the future, try gently bringing yourself back to the now and make a mental list of 5 things that you’re grateful for today. They can be as small as the view from your window, the cozy bed you sleep in, or the stranger who opens the door for you at the office.
When we begin to notice the small gifts, we make way for even more goodness to come in. By living with more appreciation for the now, ironically, we are creating a brighter future, which feels more rich and satisfying.
It seems that for some people being grateful comes naturally, while others find it more challenging. I am beginning to wonder if there is perhaps a gratitude gauge that is set higher in some people than others. Similar to the happiness gauge where some people just seem more joyful from day-to-day while others have to work harder at it.
So regardless of where you are on the scale, there is nothing more important than committing to being thankful for today. Keep a gratitude journal and make lists of ALL of the blessings in your life. Tell others how thankful you are for their friendship. Become conscious of what is going right for you today instead of what is going wrong. The more we can put our attention on that, the better our lives will become.
Living in a state of gratitude is the best gift that you can give to yourself. It takes practice but like anything that you focus on, it does become easier with time and eventually being grateful will become your norm. Gratitude really is the key to lasting joy. Give it a try.
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://JayBradleyLifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)